Saturday, October 17, 2015

Debris flows (mudslides) worsened by wildfires - expect more across the West

Yesterday's mudslide (actually debris flows) on Interstate 5 in southern California were a result of a huge El Nino storm over grounds laid bare by intense wildfires and hardened to runoff by drought.

With predictions of the biggest El Nino of the century and large tracts of lands having been burned, we may expect more such events across the West, including possibly here in Arizona.  [Right, photo credit CalTrans]

California agencies have been warning of debris flows from burned areas for several months.    On Wedesday, Cal Fire warned that they had identified 133 'mudslide danger zones' in northern California, most associated with the Valley fire in Lake and Amador counties.

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